Key West Wildlife Guide

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How Can I Help My Reef?

Our coral reefs support more species than any other marine environment. Countless numbers of animals rely on coral reefs for survival.  Many of the world’s reefs have already been destroyed or severely damaged by a range of human activities:  pollution, unsustainable fishing practices, and global climate change.  However,  if we act now we can still […]

Fun Facts About Florida Stone Crabs & Spiny Lobsters

Key West’s waters are teeming with fascinating marine life. While the coral reef off the coast of Key West is home to a beautiful array of tropical fish, there are other underwater creatures lurking about. This is where Florida’s stone crabs and spiny lobsters come into play. These crustaceans hide within coral caves or dock […]

Goliath Grouper

The adult fish is generally brownish yellow, gray, or olive with small dark spots on head, body, and fins to help blend in to their rocky coral and muddy inshore habitat (waters up to 150 ft). Three or four irregular faint vertical bars are present of the sides of individuals less than 3 feet in […]

Facts About Bottlenose Dolphins

Bottlenose dolphins are found in tropical oceans and other warm waters around the world. They were once widely hunted for meat and oil (used for lamps and cooking). Today, dolphins are threatened by commercial fishing with the use of nets. Though it’s for other species, the dolphin often become mortally entangled in the nets and […]

Queen Conch

The Queen Conch produces a large spiral shell with “spines” on it. These spines are thought to be for protection, but to human touch they are dull and non-threathening. The conch’s shell has a wide lip that has a rich pink color. Inside the shell is where the head stays which has two pairs of […]

Fun Facts About Blue Tang Fish

The blue tang is typically found on reefs in high current areas so that they can feed on zooplankton. Blue tangs are easy to spot due to their bright coloration. They are typically a vibrant blue with a yellow tail. They have two black lines. One lines the fish form the eye, along the back, […]

The Burmese Python In Florida and The Everglades

The importation and keeping of Burmese Pythons in Florida has led to some rather serious problems. People who no longer wish to care for their pythons, or whose pythons have grown too large to be kept in their houses, have been known to release their pets into the wild rather than have them re-homed or […]

Guidelines for Catch & Release Fishing

Decide beforehand which fish are to be kept and immediately release all others. Fish with barbless hooks or crimp and remove the barb. There’s no significant difference or mortality between catching fish with barbed/barbless hooks. The advantages of barbless hooks are: reduces time needed to dehook the fish, and less physical damage to the fish […]

Fun Facts About Squirrel Fish In The Florida Keys

The squirrelfish can be found at depths to 590 feet but more typically found within 100 feet. They are nocturnal. At night, they swim over sandy bottoms and sea grass beds at night searching for prey. During the daylight hours, they hide in crevices and under ledges within coral reefs to avoid predators. Juveniles form […]

Angels of the Sea

First identified and named in 1758, approximately 86 species of marine angelfish live in shallow reefs around the world. Queen angelfish have distinct electric blue bodies with yellow fins and tail. The fish may even have orange or purple highlights. Queen angelfish acquired their names from their “crowns”– a round black/blue spot on the top […]

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